Making Youth Program Quality a Priority in Central Indiana
When we think of measuring youth programs, we typically think of outcomes – the number, age and family income of kids attending, scores on pre and post-tests, responses to a survey, etc. Most people get this kind of measurement, most funders get this. Good outcomes mean a quality program, right?
What we sometimes miss when measuring outcomes is the measurement of quality at the point of service – is the environment safe, are staff supportive, are student conflicts addressed in a healthy and productive way, are children engaged and empowered to follow their interests? This might seem difficult to measure.
Luckily, MCCOY offers the Youth Program Quality Assessment and the Quality Improvement System (YPQA/I), a research-validated system that provides local youth-serving organizations the tools to measure and evaluate the quality of the youth program experience. The insight from the evaluation is then used by the organization to promote the creation of an environment that taps into the most important resource of any youth program—a young person’s motivation to attend and engage. In this approach, MCCOY leverages tools created by the Center for Youth Program Quality, a joint venture of the Forum for Youth Investment and High/Scope.
Would you know how to begin to assess this program?
Picture a dim classroom on a summer day. There’s no air conditioning, but the windows are open and slight breeze rustles the papers on the corkboard. “Draw something you want in your future,” says the teacher, “you can work together or individually.” The students talk, and begin to move the desks to the sides of the room. They can spread out their materials, share their limited supplies and work together on the floor…
Our YPQA sites do!